Sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors combination therapy in type 2 diabetes: A systematic review of current evidence.

Research paper by Awadhesh Kumar AK Singh, Ritu R Singh

Indexed on: 05 Apr '16Published on: 05 Apr '16Published in: Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism


As type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic and progressive disease with multiple pathophysiologic defects, no single anti-diabetic agent can tackle all these multi-factorial pathways. Consequently, multiple agents working through the different mechanisms will be required for the optimal glycemic control. Moreover, the combination therapies of different anti-diabetic agents may complement their actions and possibly act synergistic. Furthermore, these combinations could possess the additional properties to counter their undesired physiological compensatory response. Sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT-2I) are newly emerging class of drugs, with a great potential to reduce glucose effectively with an additional quality of lowering cardiovascular events as demonstrated very recently by one of the agents of this class. However, increase in endogenous glucose production (EGP) from the liver, either due to the increase in glucagon or compensatory response to glucosuria can offset the glucose-lowering potential of SGLT-2I. Interestingly, another class of drugs such as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4I) effectively decrease glucagon and reduce EGP. In light of these findings, combination therapies with SGLT-2I and DPP-4I are particularly appealing and are expected to produce a synergistic effect. Preclinical studies of combination therapies with DPP-4I and SGLT-2I have already demonstrated a significant lowering of hemoglobin A1c potential and human studies also find no drug-drug interaction between these agents. This article aims to systematically review the efficacy and safety of combination therapy of SGLT-2I and DPP-4I in T2DM.